Industry data compiled and published by GRiD shows that employees and their dependants have benefitted from £2.21bn in claims paid by group risk providers.

Group risk benefits

Employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness, are some of the most popular benefits offered to staff, and they have been well utilised throughout 2022. Not only are they a valuable recruitment and retention tool, but they have also been shown to provide financial support at a time when it’s most needed, as well as practical support in helping people remain in or return to work.

There were 261,631 interactions during 2022 with additional help and support services funded by group risk insurers, and 5,651 employees were helped back to work within the same year following a period of sickness absence. 

Total benefits paid across group risk

  • Group life assurance policies paid out total benefits to the value of £1.53bn: a decrease of £36.17m over 2021. There were fewer deaths as result of Covid, which explains this year-on-year decrease.
  • Group income protection (GIP) policies paid out a total of £547.91m: an increase of £1.77m over 2021.
  • Group critical illness policies paid out benefits totalling £128.5m: an increase of £22.1m over 2021. 

Average claim amounts

The average claim amounts for each group risk employee benefit shows that these benefits should not just be seen as perks for the higher paid, but are a highly valuable benefit for any employee, regardless of their salary, age, or position.

  • £121,655 for group life
  • £26,755 p.a. for group income protection
  • £72,427 for group critical illness

Main causes of claim

As in previous years, cancer was the main cause of claim across all three products during 2022. Covid19 only accounted for 3.7% of group life assurance claims.

Additional help and support

Embedded benefits within group risk products are continually enhanced and developed, many of which are available to all employees, regardless of a claim being made, and these have been particularly well utilised throughout 2022. Support includes areas such as:

  • An Employee Assistance Programme
  • Access to virtual GPs and health apps
  • Bereavement support and help with probate
  • Facilitating a second medical opinion
  • Fast-track access to counselling, physiotherapy, or other treatment
  • Liaison and mediation

In 2022, there was a total of 261,631 interactions with the additional help and support services, funded by group risk insurers, giving daily value to employers and employees. Of these, 27% involved access to counselling and 13% were related to illness and 5% to legal issues.

Return to work

In addition to the claims paid under group income protection, many employees are helped back to work both before and after a claim becomes payable, often with the support of the insurer, the employer or both.

GRiD has captured details of the cases where the insurer supported a return to work with active early intervention (such as fast-track access to counselling or physiotherapy, funded by the insurer) before that employee was eligible for a monetary payment.

A total of 5,651 people had a period of sick leave in 2022 and were helped to return to work within the same year. Of these:

  • 4,257 people were able to go back to work during 2022 because of such early intervention; of which, 47% had help to overcome mental illness, and 10% had support overcoming a musculoskeletal condition.
  • 1,394 people went on to claim a GIP benefit during 2022 and had returned to work within the same year.

A further 1,782 people who became a new group income protection claim in 2021 were helped by insurers to make a full return to work by the end of 2022.

Covid-19 claims

Group life

Covid-19 claims for 2022 account for 3.7% of group life claims, which is a decrease compared to 2021 where covid-19 accounted for 11.7% of group life claims. Covid-19 is now the 7th main cause of claim in 2022, compared to 2021, where covid-19 was the 4th main cause of claim for group life.

Group income protection

In 2022, covid-19 accounted for 6.1% of new GIP claims, which is a decrease compared to 2021 where covid-19 accounted for 7.0% of new GIP claims. Covid-19 is now the 6th main cause of claim for GIP in 2022, compared to 2021, where covid-19 was the 5th main cause of claim for GIP.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said:

Once again, our claims stats give a material figure which shows just how much employers and employees gain from group risk benefits: financially, physically and emotionally. No other benefits pay out as much, or offer such good value, which is why we’re seeing their popularity grow year on year.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and Family History Zone. After obtaining a bachelors degree in English literature and media studies, Joanne went on to spend two years of her life writing and teaching English in China and Vietnam. Prior to joining Black and White Trading, Joanne was a marketing coordinator for luxury property in Brighton focusing on blog writing, photography and video creation.